West Norfolk bucks unemployment trend with latest fall

Biggleswade Job Centre ENGPNL00120140131153428

Biggleswade Job Centre ENGPNL00120140131153428

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Unemployment in West Norfolk is continuing to fall despite another rise in county, regional and national levels, new figures have suggested.

An estimated 3,700 people in the borough, around 5.3 per cent of the total workforce, are currently out of work, according to the latest statistics released today.

Although the total is still above the regional average for East Anglia, it is down 300 on the previous quarter and now at its lowest level since the spring of 2009.

And the fall here came as the Norfolk-wide unemployment total rose by 1,500 to 21.800.

The regional total for the East of England also rose by 9,000 to 146,000, while the national total climbed by 25,000 to 1.85 million.

North West Norfolk MP Henry Bellingham said the latest drop in jobless rates was “excellent news” for the area.

He added: “To secure this at a time when unemployment in other parts of the country actually went up slightly is a huge credit to our local businesses.”

However, opposition politicians have described the national and regional increases, the second successive rise to have been recorded, as “worrying.”

They, along with some business leaders, have urged the government not to be complacent about the state of the economy.

But some economists have argued that the figures indicate that wages and job security are now increasing for those in work.

Meanwhile, the figurees also show that the number of people claiming Jobseekers’ Allowance (JSA) in West Norfolk has also fallen below 1,000 for the first time.

The total now stands at 976, a fall of 49 on the previous month.

Elsewhere, there was a slifall of 100 in total unemployment in Breckland to 3,200, while the figure in North Norfolk fell by 300 to 2,100.